Washington picked to win Pac-12 Volleyball title

SAN FRANCISCO - The 12 league women’s volleyball coaches voted defending Pac-12 champion WASHINGTON the preseason favorite, the Conference office announced on Wednesday. The Huskies received eight first-place votes and collected 118 points to edge defending NCAA Champion STANFORD, which posted 113 points and three first-place votes. OREGON was third in the poll with 93 points.

In addition to the annual coaches poll, the Pac-12 announced the Preseason All-Pac-12 team, as voted on by the league coaches. Nine of the 14 all-Conference honorees from a year ago appear on the 14-player preseason squad, including the 2016 Pac-12 Player of the Year UW’s Courtney Schwan and last year’s Pac-12 Freshman of the Year Kathryn Plummer of Stanford.

The Huskies have won back-to-back Pac-12 crowns and look to make it three in a row with a corps of three senior 2016 All-Pac-12 honorees, including Schwan. All three were also named All-Americans last year after leading UW to a 29-5 overall record and 16-4 league mark.

The Cardinal has a pair of All-Americans in Plummer and senior Merete Lutz but are under the direction of a new head coach for the first time in 17 years when Hall of Fame coach John Dunning retired after winning the national title. Kevin Hambly, who found success at Illinois, takes over the helm at Stanford.

The Ducks are also under the direction of a new head coach as Matt Ulmer takes over for 2017, with two 2017 All-Pac-12 picks on the roster. In fourth with 88 points is UTAH, which garnered one first-place vote. All- American Adora Anae, who was top 10 in the nation in kills per set and total points last year, returns to lead the Utes.

Rounding out the top half of the coaches poll are UCLA, which received 88 points and USC, which collected 83 points. Senior Reily Buechler helped the Bruins advance to the NCAA quarterfinal last season and the Trojans welcome back Khalia Lanier who was an All-Pac-12 pick as a freshman last season.

WASHINGTON STATE posted 71 points and look to build on its first NCAA Tournament appearance last year since 2009. Voted eighth with 51 points, ARIZONA and head coach Dave Rubio has one of the best recruiting programs in recent history entering the school year. COLORADO is ninth in the polling with 38 points as the Buffs enter year two under head coach Jesse Mahoney, while OREGON STATE was tabbed 10th with 33 points. The Beavers also have a second-year head coach in Mark Barnard.

CAILFORNIA (23 points) and ARIZONA STATE (15 points) were picked to finish 11th and 12th in the coaches poll. Both look to new head coaches at the helm Matt McShane taking over the bench after 18-year head coach Rich Feller retired, while ASU has rookie-head coach Sonja Tomasevic taking over in 2017.

Pac-12 volleyball teams open the season Friday, Aug. 25. Again this season, league teams have unprecedented television coverage with 90 televised matches beginning on opening day. Defending Pac-12 Champion Washington hosts Pittsburgh at 6 p.m. PT / 7 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Washington, followed by USC hosting Michigan at 8 p.m. PT / 9 p.m. MT on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Los Angeles. Providing analysis for the Networks coverage of over 80 live Pac-12 women’s volleyball matches this fall will be Kevin Barnett, Amy Gant, Camryn Irwin, Dain Blanton, Don Shaw, Holly McPeak, Mike Dodd and Tammy Blackburn.

2017 Pac-12 Volleyball Coaches Poll

1.         Washington(8)

118

2.          Stanford (3)

113

3.          Oregon

93

4.          Utah (1)

88

5.          UCLA

83

6.          USC

71

7.        Washington State

66

8.          Arizona

51

9.          Colorado

38

10.        Oregon State

33

11.        California

23

12.        Arizona State

15

2017 Preseason All-Pac-12 Women's Volleyball Team

PLAYER, TEAM

POS.

HT.

YR.

HOMETOWN

Taylor Agost, ORE

OH

6-2

SR

Happy Valley, Ore.

Adora Anae, UTAH^

OH

6-1

SR

Laie, Hawai’i

Reily Buechler, UCLA

OH

6-1

SR

Del Mar, Calif.

Crissy Jones, WASH^

OH

6-2

SR

Alamitos, Calif.

Audriana Fitzmorris, STAN

MB

6-6

SO

Overland Park, Kansas

Morgan Hentz, STAN

DS

5-9

SO

Lakeside Park, Ky.

Khalia Lanier, USC^

OH

6-2

SO

Scottsdale, Ariz.

Merete Lutz, STAN^

MB

6-8

RS-SR

Houston, Texas

Mary-Kate Marshall, OSU^

OH

6-1

SR

Coppell, Texas

Kathryn Plummer, STAN^

O/S

6-6

SO

Aliso Viejo, Calif.

Courtney Schwan, WASH^

OH

6-1

SR

Auburn, Wash.

Ronika Stone, ORE

MB

6-2

SO

San Jose, Calif

Bailey Tanner, WASH^

S

6-1

SR

San Clemente, Calif.

Lindsey Vander Weide, ORE^

OPP/OH

6-3

JR

Turlock, Calif.

^2016 All-Pac-12 team

 

 

 

 

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